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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sympathetic and sensory innervation of the extracerebral vasculature: roles for p75NTR neuronal expression and nerve growth factor.

The extracerebral vasculature receives a postnatal innervation of noradrenergic sympathetic axons and nociceptive sensory axons. These axons are responsive to the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF), in that they possess the transmembrane receptors p140proto-trkA and p75neurotrophin receptor (NTR) which bind NGF. p75NTR-deficient mice display reduced patterns of sympathetic innervation of the pineal gland and sensory innervation of the skin (Lee et al., 1992, 1994a). The goal of this investigation was to determine whether an absence of p75 expression likewise perturbs the sympathetic and sensory innervation of the extracerebral vessels of adult mice, and if so, whether increasing levels of NGF within the target field is capable of enhancing this perturbed axon growth. Four lines of mice were used: wild-type C57Bl/6 mice, transgenic mice overexpressing NGF in the brain, p75NTR-deficient mice, and hybrid mice which overexpress NGF in the brain but lack p75NTR expression. Sympathetic and sensory innervation of the meningeal arteries were severely perturbed in p75NTR-deficient mice. Wild-type and hybrid mice displayed comparable patterns of sympathetic and sensory axons along the dural arteries. Transgenic mice, however, possessed the greatest degree of arterial innervation. These data reveal that while p75NTR expression may be a critical factor for initiating axon growth along the extracerebral vasculature during postnatal development, the sympathetic and sensory nervous systems display a remarkable degree of NGF-induced axonal plasticity, such that increased levels of NGF can ameliorate perturbed patterns of arterial innervation in p75-deficient mice.[1]


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